3m earplug lawsuit update

Lawsuits against 3M moved to federal court

Lawsuits filed by nearly 40 U.S. veterans who sued 3M Co. for defective earplugs and hearing loss have been moved to federal court.

The cases were moved from Hennepin County District Court to the federal court in Minnesota at the request of 3M, court records show. 3M has denied wrongdoing in the cases.

The complaints are the latest of at least 635 veteran lawsuits making similar allegations against 3M and Aearo Technologies, which 3M bought in 2008.

The lawsuits — the first of which a military veteran filed in December 2018 — represent more than 1,700 individuals, according to documents 3M filed with U.S. regulators in April.

More lawsuits are expected, plaintiff attorneys said.

How defective combat earplugs can cause long-term problems

Have you lost your hearing or developed tinnitus—a ringing in your ears—after serving in the military?

If you served between 2003 and 2015, were issued two-sided black and yellow earplugs, and have developed hearing loss or tinnitus, you may be eligible for financial compensation in a large lawsuit.

Here are the details: Military service members were issued 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs from 2003 to 2015. One side of the earplugs would allow low-intensity sounds through, such as speaking, and the other side would muffle sound more. They were the only dual-sided earplugs issued by the military.

Unfortunately, they didn’t work.

“The earplugs didn’t maintain a tight seal and allowed dangerously loud sounds to slip through without the wearer knowing,” according to the Military Times.

Signs of injury

3M Combat Earplugs Lawsuit | File Before Trials Start April 2021

3M earplug lawsuits claim that defective design of the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEV2) caused them to loosen, leading to hearing damage or loss for thousands of veterans and active-duty military. More than 233,000 lawsuits have been filed nationwide. Only the whistleblower lawsuit has settled at this time.

Why Are People Filing?
3M military earplugs lawsuits focus on a couple of claims:

3M’s failure to disclose material design defects for over a decade prevented the U.S. military from seeking other, effective hearing protection options.
Military personnel suffered hearing damage and loss due to the failure of 3M’s CAEV2.
These claims are very serious, especially in terms of their potential to inflict damages.

Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 Design and Failure
Aearo Technologies, Inc.

53 Lawyers Appointed to Lead 3M Earplug Lawsuits

A Florida judge has appointed 53 lawyers to lead hundreds of lawsuits brought by U.S. military members against 3M over allegedly defective earplugs, with Pensacola attorney Bryan Aylstock getting the top post.

Aylstock, at Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, will oversee two other co-lead counsel, Shelley Hutson, of Houston’s Clark, Love & Hutson, and Chris Seeger, of Seeger Weiss in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, according to an order on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers, of the Northern District of Florida, also appointed two attorneys as co-liaison counsel, seven lawyers on an executive committee and 14 on a plaintiffs’ steering committee. She also appointed lawyers to nine subcommittees.

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